The Best of College Basketball are ready to Dance as March Madness Begins PLUS NWSL is back!👏👏
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NWSL Challenge Cup
The NWSL is BACK with the start of the 2022 Challenge Cup this weekend. And with two more teams in the league this season, a few adjustments have been made to this year’s tournament. The Challenge Cup will be played in three groups (East, West and Central) of four with a double-round robin format. The other significant change is the addition of a semifinal stage. This will see the runner-up with the best record advance along with the group winners.
Expansion clubs Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC will make their debuts in the tournament, with their first game scheduled against each other on Saturday at ACFC’s Titan Stadium.
Soooooo with the tournament starting this weekend, I have a few predictions. ➡️
The West region appears to be the most exciting of the three. With the two expansion teams Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC making their debut against historic powerhouse teams like Portland Thorns and OL Reign, it’s sure to be an exhilarating matchup for each game. BUT I’m going with OL Reign to come out on top of the group.
And then I’m taking Gotham FC to win the East. For me, this is a battle between two teams — regular season champs Washington Spirit and Challenge Cup finalists Gotham FC. Both of these teams can thrive in tournament style competition. And Gotham might have a slight edge over Spirit to take the top spot, but it wouldn’t be surprising if one of these two teams snagged the highest ranking second place spot to move forward to the semifinals, either.
FINALLY, I’m predicting the Houston Dash will take the Central region. With last year’s NWSL finalists Chicago Red Stars in a rebuilding phase, the Dash seem poised to take this group. Although Kansas City with its stacked roster could definitely give teams a run for their money, the Dash have the consistency continuing over from 2021 and have proven their prowess in the Challenge Cup format.
2022 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament
The 2022 NCAA women’s basketball tournament officially tipped off this week with the First Four games on Wednesday and Thursday and first-round games beginning TODAY!
Selection Sunday’s unveiling of the bracket brought some tantalizing matchups (Kentucky-Princeton in the first round, potentially South Carolina-Iowa in the Elite Eight) and compelling storylines as teams and their fans dissect what their paths are to advance to Minneapolis for the women’s Final Four. But no matter how things appear on paper, it’s March, and perhaps this year more than most, we’re sure to be in for a wealth of surprises.
South Carolina has been the No.1 team this season and will start the tournament as the betting favourite and the team with the best chance according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index. Meanwhile, fellow No.1 seed Stanford hasn’t lost since December. And after ending a 29-year title drought last year, Stanford seeks to become the fourth program to win at least two in a row.
The UConn Huskies, who are looking for their first title since 2016, have made every final four since 2008. And after an injury-plagued season, they seem to be healthy and ready to go — just in the nick of time. They’re the No. 2 seed.
The other No.1 seed is Louisville. They made the Final Four in 2018 but they’re still on the hunt for the program's first national title and could be a good pick this year. BUT it’s a long tournament. So which teams will end up in Minneapolis? Who will cut down the nets? Only time will tell!
BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells
The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells continues this weekend as the best in women’s tennis compete for a title! It was an emotional week in tennis, as always with these knockout competitions.
One story that made headlines — Naomi Osaka’s emotional loss and subsequent interview after her match. Osaka — who has been outspoken about her struggles with mental health over the past year — was heckled by a spectator in the audience during the match. After the match, she gave a tearful interview to the press, encouraging fans to be more mindful of the feelings of these players. She also referenced a similar incident involving the Williams sisters at the same event years ago.
Another fan favorite unfortunately knocked out of the competition — Canadian Leylah Fernandez. She was knocked out in the Round of Sixteen by reigning champion Paula Badosa of Spain.
Romania’s Simona Halep will advance to the semifinal after winning against Petra Martic in the quarter-finals yesterday. Maria Sakkari of Greece faced Elena Rybakina, and Sakkari came out on top, advancing to the semifinal as well.
Alpine Ski World Cup Finals
After a season with its fair share of ups and downs, Mikaela Shiffrin has become the World Cup overall champion and lifts the biggest annual prize in ski racing - a 20 pound crystal globe!
Shiffrin clinched her fourth overall title Thursday, tying Lindsey Vonn for second most in women’s history. She secured it with two races remaining in the 37-race season that began in October.
The rest of the 2022 Alpine World Cup is taking place over the weekend in France and I’m excited to watch the action! We’ve got the mixed team parallel, women’s slalom AND women’s giant slalom coming up.
Check out the Alpine World Cup FINALS! Friday, Saturday and Sunday on CBC Sports!
It’s an exciting weekend in the Premier Hockey Federation — we have a first/second place match up! The Toronto Six and the Connecticut Whale will face off TWICE in one weekend, in games that could seriously tip the current PHF standings!
The Whale very closely ride the tails of first-place Toronto going into the weekend — Connecticut is just ONE point behind them. It’s a must win situation on both Saturday and Sunday for our Six if they want to keep their place on top. To add to the pressure — it’s the LAST weekend of the regular season!
In Buffalo, the Beauts will face the Boston Pride in their final weekend of the regular season. At this point, it doesn’t look like Boston could catch up to Connecticut or Toronto in the standings, but they will try to hold off Buffalo regardless!
Buffalo on the other hand, currently sits at the bottom of the leaderboard. With the next team above them — the Minnesota Whitecaps — not having anymore games left in the regular season, could Buffalo climb out of last place?
You don’t want to miss the last weekend of PHF regular season action! Catch Saturday’s games at 3pm and 7pm ET on Twitch! Sunday’s games BOTH start at 1pm ET on Twitch — double screen time, perhaps?
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